Luke 22:24-30—Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.
“You have stayed with me in my time of trial. And just as my Father has granted me a Kingdom, I now grant you the right to eat and drink at my table in my Kingdom. And you will sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”
Jesus’ style of leadership was radically different from what His disciples were used to seeing. The leaders they knew were stuck on rules and traditions, but Jesus was focused on something else entirely.
Most people want to be the one sitting down at the head of the table. We want to be served and reap the harvest. But Jesus’ model is to sow and serve first, and then sit down to eat. This is upside-down thinking; with our human perspective that doesn’t make any sense, because we don’t see the eternal feast that is before us. Instead, we only see the hard work in the here and now. But we have to remember that what we do here in this temporary life on Earth will have eternal impact in God’s Kingdom.
Sow generously and serve often. Sow the things of God in the lives of others so that they can meet Him, and serve everyone around you with a loving heart. Jesus was the most powerful person in that room; He had more authority than everyone else at the table with Him, but He was the one to serve. John 13 tells the story of how Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, a job that was usually reserved for the lowest-ranking servant in a household. He wanted to make it clear to them and to us that as His followers, we are expected to serve others just as He served the disciples.
Jesus was secure in His identity as the Son of God, and so He could serve all of humanity by serving up His life as a sacrifice, even though we don’t deserve it. And Jesus challenges us to do the same. God blesses us for doing what He has said to do, not for just knowing a lot about Him. That doesn’t mean we work to earn His love for us, but because we get to be on mission with Him! To have impact in this world, we have to be willing to stand upp from the table and sow and serve often–and do it with great love. We can’t just sit around being fed all the time, but we need to actually get up, get moving, and work together to create waves in our world.